Biczo Cracks Cseh & 1:55 For 200 'Fly Title
Jun 24, 2011 - Craig Lord
At Hungarian nationals in Debrecen, teenager Bence Biczo, became the second swimmer in the world this season to crack 1:55sec, his winning 1:54.79 lifting him from 7th to 2nd on the world rankings and keeping at bay Olympic silver medallist Laszlo Cseh, on 1:55.98.
In the world at large, Biczo got past the Olympic and world champion Michael Phelps (USA), on 1:55.34 untapered so far this year, and former world champion Pawel Korseniowski (POL), among others. Still way out in front on the clock this season, Tateshi Matsuda (JPN), on 1:54.12 in April.
Biczo's best this year had been a 1:55.92, from the Monaco round of the Mare Nostrum Tour. Cseh's effort today was 0.05sec inside his previous season best from March and leaves him ranked No8.
Biczo's splits: 25.70, 54.59 and 1:24.61
Coached by Bela Santics at Pécs, about 150km from Budapest in southern Hungary, Biczo said: "My coach asked me to push the first hundred really hard, harder than in the previous meets. I thought, OK, let's try it and hope not to break down. Actually, I managed to maintain the pace throughout the end which is rather good news. I planned to clock 1:54 today so I'm really happy but let me admit that my form was a bit sharpened for this race."
Santics believes that Biczo has a great deal of room for improvement, on his start and underwater dolphin-kick. Neither he nor his charge are thinking medals this time round as they head to Shanghai. Biczo is 18, while the best fly swimmers in the world tend to be, on average, 25-26, says the coach. Santics is happy with his charge's progress but says: "We cannot talk about the chances in Shanghai as Bence is too young, he will hopefully break into the top circles in the future."
Bence, who just passed high school exams with flying colours, has a passion for photography and enjoys music and hanging out with friends, is due to race in Belgrade at the European junior championships before Shanghai. A modest young chap, Biczo shies away when talk strays to battles with Michael Phelps: "No, please, don't compare me to Michael Phelps," he once said. "First here is Laszlo Cseh, one of the greatest swimmers of today, I have to race with him first and it is an honour if I can beat him sometimes, but by no means I regard myself better than him. He is still the best here in Hungary and in Europe!"
The meet also witnessed several other encouraging swims as the Hungarian team prepares for action at world titles in Shanghai next month. Agnes Mutina claimed the 100m free in 55.36 and Daniel Gyurta the 100m breaststroke in 1:01.59 and Cseh the 100m butterfly in 51.98.
There were victories of 4:07.99 and 8:29.23 for Eva Risztov over 400m and 800m freestyle. Zsuzsanna Jakabos took silver in the 400m in 4:10.14, ahead of Boglarka Kapas, on 4:10.76. Kapas finished second in the 800m in 8:35.78.
Gergo Kis added the 400m and 1500m free to the 800m free he had already won at the meet, a 3:49.98 sealing 400m victory over Cseh, on 3:52.28, and Gergely Gyurta, on 3:54.02. Kis clocked 15:15.82 over 30 laps ahead of Gyurta's 15:20.08.
Elsewhere, Peter Bernek took the 200m backstroke in 1:58.51; Krisztian Takacs took the freestyle dash in 22.43; ; Daniel Guyurta the breaststroke dash in 28.50; while among women Esther Buczek's 2:34.27 kept her 0.51sec ahead of Dorothy Biro in the 200m breaststroke; Evelyn Verraszto took the 'fly dash in 27.37; Esther Povazsi the backstroke dash in 29.57, 0.02sec ahead of Esther Dara.